In a letter to the editor, new Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Luis Felipe Fernandez is stressing community involvement in the school district.
Jersey City is home to more than 27,000 public school students. Each with great dreams and untapped potential. Nine members of the Board of Education give leadership and oversight to their education.
Now I am one of them. I never saw myself included in their process. I never saw myself as a leader in the education of my neighbors’ children; I thought that was only for educators and people in the main office. I was wrong.
I have a voice that can serve the children in our district. You also have a voice. Just like me maybe you feel you were not included in the education of our city’s students, but you can be. Maybe you feel you don’t have enough time to give or experience to share, but you do.
We all play a role in the success of our public schools. Our commitment to make them better serves all children in this diverse city we call home.
If we engage with our time and our voices, our schools get better. And if our schools succeed, we all succeed. Do not sell yourself short. Unite with our schools to make them the best schools in the nation.
We all can help. It’s as easy as ABC:
Be Available: If you are a parent make sure you are available for your children’s teachers and school administrators. See the time you give as an investment in their lives and the lives of your children’s classmates.
Involved parents and caring adults make a huge difference in the development of our students.
Be Benevolent: Be kind and respectful to all people in the district. Even if you disagree with them, you can still work together.
At the end we all have the same goal. even though our approaches may be different, we can put our interests as adults aside for the interest of our children.
Be Consistent: Consistency goes a long way in a child’s world. Especially in our city where inconsistency is the only constant for too many children. So only commit to what you can do; don’t over commit. See yourself as an asset, not as a bystander.
For example, if you can just give one hour a month to volunteer in your local school, that’s great. Start there and increase your commitment at your own pace.
I am happy to know I can be a part of the change in our schools. I see myself as one of the many people that really care for our students. That’s why I also want to congratulate my fellow new board members Sudhan Thomas and Angel Valentin.
I believe that if we work united as one Jersey City we will see progress in our students and in our schools. I am looking forward to work together with all board members who have volunteered their time to make our schools better. United we can accomplish anything.
Join in and be a part of the change.
Finally, I would like to thank all of those voters and supporters who put their trust in me. Also thanks to the outstanding Jersey City United campaign team including RJ Harper, Leda Duif, Uche Akpa, James Solomon, and especially my running mates, Asmaa Abdalla and Matt Schapiro.
Thanks for pushing me to be part of the change and not to stay idle.
Pastor Luis Fernandez – firstname.lastname@example.org
School Board Member Jersey City